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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime

Five Feet Apart (2019) on IMDb

Plot Overview

glassChipper teenager Stella (Haley Lu Richardson) suffering from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) has gone back into Saint Grace Regional Hospital for a “tune-up” on an experimental drug program while she's awaiting a lung transplant—the average life of trans­planted lungs is five years. A more cynical CF patient Will Newman (Cole Sprouse) has the deadlier B cepacia form making him ineligible for a trans­plant. There's a special rule for CF patients: they must maintain at least six feet of separation from each other at all times to preclude the possibility of touching. They don't want to transfer their individual bacterial combinations.

loversStella has “control issues” and rigorously follows her regimen to a tee. Will figures he's “living on borrowed air,” so he doodles in his regimen book and sketches flamboyant cartoons. Needing to control her environment Stella decides to manage Will's regimen, too, in return for which she allows Will to draw her. A budding attraction develops leading them to modify the six foot rule to five feet between them­selves. It's a slippery slope and they soon find them­selves in pretty deep.


Circumstances had put their whole lives out of whack, and to balance them they do well to follow the wise advice of ancient King Solomon: (Eccl. 7:16) “Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?” The six foot rule was a bit over much for two lovers. Stella makes a point that human touch is part of our basic needs, even as a baby, especially with loved ones. Five feet enables the couple to hold hands extended, cleaned and gloved. Seems like a good idea. And although Stella is a whiz at writing her own apps, she uses pencil and paper for her to-do list(s). That way she has the visceral satisfaction of crossing items off. She's already isolated enough from her environment; she doesn't need a technological aid here. It would have made her “over wise” as it were.

The counterbalance to Solomon's advice above is in the next verse: (Eccl. 7:17) “Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?” This advice could well be applied to the whole group of teen­aged friends in the movie. One of Stella's girl­friends is planning on cavorting with a newly available man on her break, out­side of parental super­vision (“Use protection.”) Will let's his friends use his room out­side of parental super­vision, too (“That's disgusting.”) Protection isn't always reliable, and there are a lot of STDs going around.

Fellow CFer Poe (Moises Arias) is gay and underage. As is their wont, he's had a whole string of sexual encounters with males, none of whom his folks know about. Even if his folks were cool with that, his preference for blacks could be a-whole-nother matter. All he has to offer a fellow is support obligations when he turns eighteen—the insurance stopping full coverage then—and watching him slowly die. The courts having legalized same-sex unions does not mean families will be accepting.

Stella has remained a virgin so far. If a decent guy and girl of the same race remain virgins until marriage and then make babies together, their parents are generally accepting, or will come around. Not in this case, though, and we do see the parents suspicious of their counter­part's kid. For the others we just have to imagine it. The CF factor puts them all in the same boat more or less, where usually the good hetero couple will have a leg up on the others with regard to safe sex.

The Spanish St. Grace after whom the hospital was named had a Muslim father who was a caliph. She and some of her siblings converted to Christianity, which caused some strife in the family and her martyrdom. “Five Feet Apart” doesn't make a big deal about family strife, but the idea is there.

As for “not being foolish” that would apply to Stella's beloved older sister Abby (Sophia Bernard) who decided to live large to make up for her sister's limitation. For Abby that meant dabbling in a string of high-risk sports and adventures as a rank novice. Well, there's more than one way to die, and some are quicker than others. We don't see the tape, but it probably repeats the last words of a redneck, “Watch this!”

Production Values

” (2019) was directed by Justin Baldoni. Its script was written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. It stars Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, and Claire Forlani. There's good chemistry between Richardson and Sprouse. Both leads portrayed their characters well.

MPAA rated it PG–13 for thematic elements, language and suggestive material. Care was taken in casting, setting, script and props to produce a comfortable viewing of a place where people don't look their best. There was enough realism to support the plot but not so much as to gross out the audience.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

“Five Feet Apart” well exceeded my expectations. I was genuinely invested in the characters even though expecting it would not end well for all of them. This was movie viewing at its heart-tugging best.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done hospital action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for children 13+ years with guidance. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.